April is National Oral, Head and Neck Awareness month; the week of April 14-20th is specifically dedicated to raising awareness for these cancers. Commonly these types of cancer may seem more rare, but approximately 50,000 people are diagnosed with Oral, Head and Neck Cancer every year in the United States. The month of April is dedicated to raising awareness and providing people with the information and resources they need to get screened and learn more about the symptoms and risk factors of Oral, Head and Neck cancer.
Oral, Head and Neck Cancer commonly refers to squamous cell carcinoma of the tongue, throat, and voice box. Head and neck cancer can also refer to other types of cancer in the nasal cavity, sinuses, lips, mouth, thyroid glands, salivary glands, throat, or voice box. Known risk factors are tobacco use, alcohol use, and HPV.
Free Screenings for Oral, Head and Neck Cancer
One of the main ways to raise awareness is to provide people with free screenings. Many places offer free head and neck screenings in the springtime; dentist offices offer free oral cancer screenings. April 19th is specifically devoted for providing free screenings to our nation.
Past screenings for this event have been hosted at clinics, hospitals, dental offices, malls, churches, cancer centers, dental schools, medical schools, health fairs, NASCAR races, and Major/Minor baseball games.
Symptoms of Oral, Head and Neck Cancer include persistent ear pain, trouble swallowing, pain swallowing, a lump in your neck, and white patches in your throat.
How To Find a Free Screening Site in Your Area
The Head and Neck Cancer Alliance hosts an incentive on their website that helps people find places where they can have free screenings during this awareness month. You can search within your zip code.
How To Host a Free Screening Event
If you are a healthcare provider you could be the first to host an event in your area; if you want to host an event you can visit the Head and Neck Cancer Alliance website to sign up.
Have you been diagnosed with a type of Head and Neck cancer? What is your diagnosed experience? Was it found in a screening or through a diagnostics test ordered by your doctor because of clear symptoms?